By Zhane Tan
Looking at the Gundam Battle Nexus setup, Zhane blinked and had no idea what to do, "So, I just sit in this and put my gunpla here?" he asks the person at the GBN store as he looked back at them. "That's right," said the worker. Looking at the machine, he thought for a moment and sat down. "Ok, now what do I do?" he asked as she looked again after placing his Gunpla on the machine. The employee blinked and just looked, shocked more than anything "... you've never done this?" he asked. "My first time," was Zhane's response. The employee sighed, "You put on the headset, and create an account," and as the employee spoke, Zhane did that. "That's it?" he asked. "Yes," said the employee.
Zhane is odd in this matter, having not been out in public much, except for his trips to the hospital. He has bone cancer and has been going through a lot to try to stop it and fight it of and the Doctors are sure that they are to the point of getting all of it, so he has little experience with anything like this, and thinking, Zhane types in a name, Lucky. The employee looks, "Interesting name," he states. "Yea," Zhane says. "I have been lucky my entire life, and still am so far," he replies as he listens and places his Gunpla on the machine to scan it in. "Interesting suit design," the employee said. "Thank you," he states simply as he closes his eyes and takes a few breaths, kind of tired but opens them. "Here it goes," he comments to himself as he logs in for the first time....
Traveling through the VR of the login, he looks around and smiles, "Totally cool," he states as he wonders, will keep his same appearance or will have a different appearance.
He looks at the screen and thinks as he gets his answer. smiling to himself, he picks an design that he thinks will be cool. "Can I change my appearance later?" he wonders to himself as he picks his normal appearance with simple clothing. Afterwards, he steps through the door and into the GBN.
Arriving in the GBN, he looks around as he sees all the different avatars, "Wow, there's someone dressed as Zechs and another as Char.... and... is that a dogboy?" he says to himself as he walks around the floor and looks completely lost.
Gabriel sat in the seat of his new mobile suit. He reflexively tensed his left arm, as if doing so would ward off the unpleasant memories of a similar mobile suit he had used. “Time to see if this will do… Vidar…” he mused. Gabriel perched the dark mobile suit on top of a building overlooking a park inside of a colony. The streets were vacant, he almost swore he spotted a tumbleweed drifting through a road. “These programmers have a sick sense of humor…” he muttered disgustedly.
He didn’t have to wait long, his radar beeped, telling him his opponent had arrived. “Creed told me you were good!” He said more to himself, a thin smile tracing the EL Diver’s lips. “Let’s see if the old man was right?” Vidar pulled out its’ rifle and took aim at the approaching machine, he took careful aim and squeezed the trigger, sending a volley to his opponent.
“...and remember everyone, mid-terms may be next week but that’s not excuse not to have your essays in to me on time. You’ll have some time to work on them next class, but I better not catch anyone using that time to slack off. Class dismissed,”
As Raymond Hermes’s students filed out of the room, abuzz with groans and chatter of their upcoming deadlines, the beleaguered English teacher sat himself down at his desk. He was flipping through papers when his phone buzzed and beeped with a notification. Ray looked down at the phone, quirked a brow, and then unlocked it. He scanned the message once, and then scanned it again, his blood running cold on his second read-through.
Son of a…
Ray practically jumped out of his chair, shoving his phone in his pocket and grabbing his belongings before charging out of the classroom.
“What the hell is this all about?” Icarus growled as he crossed the casino floor. The Force nest was garishly coloured and loud—a far cry from the Fleurs’ base.
Spider gave Icarus a slimy smile as he approached, spreading his arms wide in mock welcome. “So good of you to make it, Icarus. Pull up a seat, enjoy yourself,”
“Cut the crap, Spider,” Icarus said, eyeing the diver up. He was dressed like a stereotypical mobster, his cheap suit adorned with a spider-web pattern. He wore a black domino mask over his eyes, his long silver hair pulled back into a ponytail. “You and me were done. Fair and square,”
“You were done, or at least, you thought you were,” Spider’s eyes glistened in the bright casino light. “But my bosses and I had other things in mind. See we need you and your friends to do a little job for us. An easy one, a test of sorts. Accept and perform admirably, and we’ll cut you loose for good, no strings attached. Refuse, though, and…well, I think my message earlier painted a pretty enough picture for you,”
Icarus clenched his fist and grit his teeth. He wanted nothing more than to tell Spider off but right now the man across from him was capable of ruining his life and Icarus didn’t doubt that he was willing to do just that.
“Good,” Spider smiled again. “Next steps then. In the next couple of days, you’re going to receive a package…”
And a few days later, Ray did, in fact, receive a package. As he opened it, he took a deep breath and cursed himself, his bad fortune, and most importantly, Spider.
The next day, he sent a message to his teammates to meet him at the Force Nest. He was sitting in the common area staring at a picture of the Tallgeese QUEST on a tv screen, growing increasingly more miserable as time ticked on. He had told Aker and Wade that this was an urgent matter, but had told them little more. He just hoped that they understood…
“Again!” Her voice stern but sincere. “You’ll never be able to hit me with that attitude.” The boy breathed in ragged gasps. He was tired, tried of attacking, and tired of constantly being belittled by that witch of a woman.
Two mobile suits stood face each other on a scenic plateau. Around them was a vast desert with monumental landmarks and a vast emptiness that seemed to lead on to the edge of the horizon. The boy, Casval Creed was using a gold colored variant of the Gundam Astray Red Frame with its’ iconic katana held with both hands. Opposite of the samurai-esque suit was the Mercurius from Gundam Wing with its deflectors swirling around the suit confidently, the arms of Sayla Creed’s Gunpla crossed in front in supreme confidence.
“I’ll get you this time!” He roared as he brought his katana down towards the taunting red mobile suit. Of course his attack didn’t hit, it never did. Always striking and never hitting, that was the story of his life. Indeed the katana blade slowed down as if hitting a web and remained poised in midair, tendrils of electricity licking around the weapon as it remained frozen midair. The red frame variant pulled its’ sword out wide to slide off the invisible field protecting the Mercurius. Casval Creed cried out in disgusting, stomping away from his sister Sayla. “I don’t believe you…” he started as he slowly brought the Gunpla around to face his sister. “Every time I hit your shield my sword just bounces off!”
The Mercurius was already shaking its’ head as Sayla, no Artesia the diver, started to chastise, “you underestimate your weapon. Father used to use that mobile suit all the time you know? I’ve seen-“
“Yes! Yes! I’ve seen his battles too you know!” Casval cut back angrily. Still the Mercurius was shaking its’ head, “so you’ve seen him do the very thing you say is impossible? You disappoint me for being a seed fanboy and not understanding the potential of Gerbera Straight!” Sayla’s tone seemed branched from vast patience with her younger brother and it wasn’t the first time he was glad for her calm demeanor. She continued as if reading his silence as a prompt to continue. “Father used that very sword against a similar unit as mine to cut through the shield. Gerbera Straight can deflect energy, and not just beam shots. Just like a real katana it all depends on how you angle that blade for your cut.” She motioned for the sword from her brother and he offered the weapon. In short order she was moving the weapon through a familiar routine. Near the end of her movement she called her shield deflectors in front the gold colored red frame and effortlessly she smashed the blade down through the force field. To Casval’s credit he was able to quick step behind himself in time to dodge the attack.
Artesia held the tip of the sword aimed at the Astray’s neck for a long while. “See?” She asked rather confidently. Casval was still frustrated from all his failures but he held back any snarky responses and gulped down his pride before admitting. “Th-thank you sis…” Artesia chuckled and stood the Mercurius up straight. “I think that’s enough training for not little bro! How about we log off to today?” Casval let out a sigh and agreed after a moment, “sure... same time tomorrow?”
The night air was cool, as the chill wind gently floated through the air. Casval stood in the large backyard of their house, bokken in hand. The teen swung the piece of wood up and down over his head in a precise motion. Beads of sweat dripped off his head as he continued the routine repeatedly. With each strike she shuffled forward in his steps, each strike bringing his footing along with the mock attacks. He would reach the end of the grassy area only to turn on his heel and repeat the process to the opposite end of the lawn. The Creed complex was large, located outside of Tokyo in the country side. The house itself was a modern affair with a large back garden fenced in to the estate.
Casval cried out with his attacks, trying to derive power from each swing of the bokken. By this point in his exercise he was getting exhausted but still his sister’s words echoed in his head about holding the weapon right. While the real world may have not been GBN he figured some principles of the concept could carry through. He reached the end of the lawn once more and collapsed on his rump and leaned back on his hands to stare up at the cloudy night sky.
“I was once like you… of course I didn’t have a nice private backyard to practice in.” Casval arched an eye brow and turned back to see his father, Marco Creed approach him from behind. “Oh? Do you still have the moves?” Casval couldn’t help but taunt as he tossed the wooden sword at his father. Marco didn’t miss a beat as he caught the blade mid air by the handle and quickly presented it on guard and properly swung the blade down overhead much like Casval had been doing just a few moments before. His old man flashed him a toothy grin and presented the blade back humbly to his son, “some people might say that I do.” Marco chided as he sat down next to his boy. “Sayla told me you were using my old red frame to practice in GBN today. Did you like it?’
Casval was already grinning and nodded his head, “yeah! I mean its’ hardly a red frame the way you have it colored but it was a lot of fun to use!” Marco smiled as he gazed up at the clouds then looked back down at his son, “well in that case how about you fix it up right?’ The man reached into a pocket of the jacket he wore and produced the familiar Gunpla from before. “I want you to have it. Not just to take it, I want you to tune it up, give it your own flavor to it if you will?”
The teen hesitantly reached out for the model, of course he had used it before but now it suddenly seemed so much different to him. “You want me to rebuilt it?” Marco was nodding and smiling at his clever son, “yes. I think it’s a fine machine to start off with. I’m curious to see what you’ll do with it.”
Casval’s eyes dropped down to the figurine in his hands now and studied the real grade red frame which had its red traded for a shade of gold. Slowly the boy began nodding more to himself than his father, “I’ll do it… I’ll make you proud!” Marco was already chuckling at the boys response however, “you already have son!”
The familiar cross armed pose of the Mercurius wasn’t so daunting this time around as Casval swung in at his sister. The mobile suit stepped back with each incoming attack but each attack was still foiled by the floating defenders. “You would think with all your practice you would know how to do it now?” Artesia taunted as her brother roared out another attack. The blade did seem to dig in a little deeper against the force field this time around and Sayla did raise her eyebrow at that. “C’mon! You think the random divers are going to be as forgiving as me? They’ll eat you alive! And you call yourself a Creed?”
Casval flared his nostrils at her remark and he paused as he raised the blade over his head. He angled his hands over the controls and in turn shifted his grip ever so slightly on the weapon. He sucked in his breath and before striking started to let out a roar from his belly, the blade trailing down in a swift motion. Just like that, Gerbera Straight sliced through the force field, just like that the katana arced in towards the Mercurius head, just like that Artesia raised up her shield saber, igniting the blade just in time to parry the attack.
They remained poised in that position for along while, Casval catching his breath as he realized he made his sister draw her weapon finally. There was finally a chuckle emanated from the opposing red mobile suit, “well well… took you long enough, Char… from now own we can start the real training brother. Are you ready to start living up to your name at last?”
A grin spread on Casval’s lips and he nodded, “I’m ready sis!” The Mercurius batted away the Katana and the floating energy shield replaced in front of Sayla, “again!” She commanded.
Full name: Casval Creed
Hair: Black (white in game)
Fanboy is just one way to describe Casval. He’s excited about Gundam and is a very friendly kid. He’s particularly fond of his namesake and often tries to emulate the positive characteristics of idol. He will act chivalrous and noble as much as he can and often strives for those ideals as well. His hearty nature can sometimes lead him to trouble but he seems to have a knack for getting out of situations usually. He’s very fond of his family and is usually appreciative to have his sister around.
Strengths and weaknesses
Pedigree – at a young age Casval was exposed to Gundam and Gunpla. His father taught him about GBN and Gunpla battle and distill a sense of fondness for the hobby that drove Casval to always strive for greater heights, to live up to his father’s expectations. He has access to many of his father’s personal resources.
Novice - he’s still getting used to the controls and interfaces of GBN. He’s more likely to make social mistakes online as well.
Seed Fan Boy – Gundam seed is his favorite show and he will often pause to reflect on the mecha or memorabilia from that show.
Fear of failure – he wants to live up to his father’s name and reputation and hopes to surpass it sometime in the future even.
Bold/brash – because of who he is he is always willing to make dramatic gestures or take the difficult path when doing tasks.
Small and slender, he still has to mature physically. At times he still feels awkward.
Casval is the youngest of the Creed family. Both his parents are avid fans of the Gundam franchise so it was only natural for his name to be after one of the more iconic characters. Along with his sister he was indoctrinated at a young age to enjoy Gundam. Ironically it wasn’t until he was older that his father even suggested he build Gunpla as well. Naturally because of his namesake he grew to like most Gundam villains and especially enjoyed their mobile suits.
It was only recently that he was invited to start playing with his older sister Sayla. Together she’s been slowly showing him the ropes as he’s become more and more intrigued by the mysterious world of GBN.